The future outlook for patients with HIV has improved drastically over the last years and decade. There was a time when being diagnosed as HIV positive carried with it the weight of a bleak and short future. Thanks to recent dedicated investment in the research and development of treating HIV, patients’ futures are bright, long, and looking better than ever before.
Future of HIV Treatment
While experts continue to forge a future with an HIV cure, treatment options are blossoming and spreading, to keep the virus and its risks at bay. Read below to learn about the emerging approaches and technologies to combat HIV, and hopefully, pave the way toward a future without the virus.
4 Approaches in HIV Treatment Future
- Boosting Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy techniques are increasing. Most recently, there is aim to super boost the immune system cells in defense against HIV. The stronger the body’s immune system (the deficit of which is the primary symptom of HIV), the better the body can fight the virus, its attempts to replicate, and any unrelated infections that would otherwise foster an optimal replication environment.
- Pressing Pause on Replication
One of the most dangerous qualities of HIV is the virus’s ability to replicate itself vastly, quickly, and uncontrollably. Abivax, a French company, found a way to approach the termination of HIV’s RNA replication by targeting its cellular agents that remain dormant, and therefore unseen by current technology.
Abivax’s drug, ABX464, is new among its kind, in the way that it targets the “hidden” HIV reservoir. Other drugs are currently available that stop the virus from replicating, but they do not yet target the cellular populous that one day “awake” and cause life-threatening damage in the body. Eliminating these reservoirs significantly reduces the chances of future replication and transmission.
- Gene Therapy
One percent of the global population is naturally immune to HIV. It is possible then, to extract patient DNA, and edit it with the naturally occurring HIV-resistance nucleases, to ensure the impossibility of HIV binding to its necessary human protein host.
- Eliminating Through Shock Technique
Several European companies are testing approaches that play on the standard antiretroviral therapy to eliminate the HIV reservoirs. Norwegian Bionor is working on a double vaccine that can both produce HIV antibodies to prevent its replication while simultaneously attacking the reservoir.
Can HIV Be Cured in the Future?
The short answer to this question is not yet, but this answer is presented in the narrow context of a cure equating permanent eradication of the virus. Under this pretense, HIV is not positively curable in the future.
However, researchers and medical professionals have made leaps and bounds in progression through the virus treatments that suppress the virus so thoroughly and for so long, it’s tempting to label the solutions as cures.
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